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Former industrial centre Manchester now seriously rivals London in its claim to be the UK’s cultural capital, especially when it comes to music and nightlife. Plus the people are much nicer.
That would be the Northern Quarter, which offers an urban-cool alternative to the neighbouring city centre, with a vintage and vinyl vibe to its plethora of indie-styled cafes, bars and boutiques.
You probably didn’t know
What’s now the swish Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel on Peter Street used to be the Free Trade Hall, a venue for meetings and rallies built on the site of an infamous massacre of political-reform campaigners. It’s where in 1966, Bob Dylan was heckled (‘Judas’) for playing an electric guitar and where 10 years later the Sex Pistols played two legendary gigs. That’s Manchester in a nutshell.
Suggested reading and watching
To read: Manchester, England (2000) is DJ Dave Haslam’s history of the city refracted through its music and street life. To watch: 24 Hour Party People (2002) is the story of the world’s most famous nightclub, Manchester’s Hacienda.